How to keep dogs cool and avoid heatstroke

The heat of the summer is here! To keep our canine friends comfortable, please follow the suggestions below, and avoid a trip to the emergency vet.

Plenty of water

When your dog pants, he is cooling off by evaporating saliva and water on his tongue. This cooling process requires water. So always be sure your dog has plenty of fresh water.

Avoid midday sun

Plan your trips to The Barkyard (or other dog-friendly park) early in the day or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day—especially if you have a dog with a “smooshed” face (such as a Pug, Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Shih Tsu or Pekingese).

Also, be careful if your dog is dark brown or black, since dark fur absorbs heat quickly. If you doubt it, next time you and your dog are with other canine friends in the sun, place your hand on your dog’s back and feel the heat. Then place it on the back (with the owner’s permission of course) of a light-colored or white dog—you will notice a big difference!

Never leave your dog in a vehicle

Even with windows open, parked cars can quickly—within 10 minutes—reach temperatures that cause heatstroke for a dog. I know your dog looks at you with those doe eyes and begs to come with you on car rides, but don’t buy it! He’s safer and comfortable at home.

Festivals and street fairs are no place for dogs

Unless it’s a dog festival, leave your dog home when you go to local summer events and concerts. Hot pavement, such as asphalt, cement, and tar / blacktop, can burn a dog’s paws—many dogs will lie down to avoid it.

Take breaks

If your dog is particularly exuberant and loves to run and play without taking breaks, be sure he does take a break every few minutes to avoid overheating. Early signs of heatstroke can include any of the following symptoms: bright red tongue, heavy drooling, heavy or rapid breathing, or reduced coordination. If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, use water at the fountain to cool him off, then head to the nearest veterinary hospital to take good care of your best friend.

Thanks for bringing your dog to The Barkyard!

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